Looks like the Hyundai Tucson will get the full-fat N treatment after all.
After the Veloster N proved that Hyundai can build a respectable hot hatchback that can take on the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Korean automaker is preparing to rapidly expand its N performance range. Prototype spy shots have shown Hyundai is cooking up a hot Kona N variant, while leaked photos have all-but-confirmed that high-performance Sonata N sedan is coming.
One model that hasn't been given the N treatment, however, is the Tucson SUV. Recently, a report claimed that Hyundai has ruled out the possibility of a full-fat Tucson N, and will instead launch a sporty N Line variant.
Conversely, Hyundai global product management boss Lorenz Glaab has hinted that Hyundai intends to give the Tucson the full N treatment after all.
"Everything's possible, we do monitor the market very attentively … we don't look so much at what others do, we look at the customer, we look at the market not only today, but in three, five years out, that is what's important," Glaab told GoAuto during a media event for the launch of the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson.
"So maybe other OEMs just don't see an opportunity in this performance space (core market), we do, and we are very active not only on-road but also off-road with our racing activities. So all this combined means that our heart beats for N, and we will not only keep the N story alive, but we will build on that and well, watch out for exciting news."
Under the hood, the Tucson N is expected to use a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing at least 340 horsepower, which would make it one of the most powerful compact crossovers on the market and fill a gap in the market.
This setup will reportedly enable the high-performance crossover to hit 0-62 mph in less than six seconds. The regular 2022 Hyundai Tucson, on the other hand, will be offered with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 190 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque and a a hybrid 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing a combined 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A plug-in hybrid will also be available, but Hyundai hasn't confirmed the specifications yet.
As for when the Tucson N will arrive, Glaab's closing comments suggest it will come sooner rather than later if there's enough demand. "We do have a current portfolio of N models, and our clear intention is to build on that portfolio," he said. "Now what models exactly, when exactly, is a little early to tell and a little early to discuss. Anything's possible … if we believe that in that particular segment for SUV body type, makes sense, so we can move very quickly I would say."